Research and Markets’s Global and China Lithium Battery Electrolyte Industry Report, 2017-2021 gives an insight into the current state of the lithium battery market.
Global output of lithium battery electrolyte was about 150,000 tons in 2016, up 35.5 per cent from a year ago, largely concentrated in the countries such as China, South Korea and Japan.
China produced around 88,000 tons (over 60.0 per cent of the global) with a year-on-year rise of 28.7 per cent, and achieved the output value of RMB5.86 billion, an upsurge of 86.3 per cent year on year, primarily because of:
1) a rise in prices of electrolytes; and
2) a larger proportion of functional electrolyte with high added value.
From the perspective of upstream raw materials, the price of lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6) started rising rapidly from 2014 and reached USD43,000/t in 2016, representing a growth of over 35 per cent from 2015. However, as new capacities are put into production, the price of LiPF6 will trend down in 2017.
The prices of electrolyte solvents soared in mid-2016, caused mainly by off-production of some plants for overhaul and accidental factors like production halt at Hangzhou-based plants during the G20 Summit, but stabilized at the end of the year. Therefore, as the prices of raw materials decline, lithium battery electrolytes will also see a downtrend in the prices in 2017.
Regarding downstream industries, consumer electronics is a major application of lithium battery electrolyte, but has grown at a slower pace, for the market is almost saturated. Flourishing EV and industrial energy storage markets will be main driving engines of the Chinese electrolyte market.